In the news...

Disease and flood tolerant rice

May 23rd, 2015 / National Geographic, US

Plant pathologist and geneticist at the University of California, Davis, Pamela Ronald’s lab has isolated genes from rice that can resist diseases and tolerate floods. When those genes are inserted into existing rice plants, they help farmers grow high-yield harvests in places where the crop is a vulnerable staple. …

The GMO that could feed 1 billion people: C4 rice explained

May 22nd, 2015 / International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)

VIDEO: C4 rice (http://c4rice.irri.org) is a genetically modified crop projected to save one billion people by 2025. It’ll give us up to 50% more rice “for free” – much more rice will be grown, for the people who most need it, without any extra resources being used up. Read …

School farm, where they start young

May 22nd, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Loninda Afedraru reports: “It always thought that it is the older people in mostly rural areas that engage in any agriculture, and that the youths are more interested in anything but the farm. But this may be a misconception. Ask the girls at Gayaza High School who are …

Aflatoxin contamination costs Tanzanian agriculture greatly

May 22nd, 2015 / Xinhua News Agency

Tanzania is losing over 332 million U.S. dollars annually from the negative impacts of aflatoxin, a deadly toxin affecting cereal crops like maize, sorghum, rice, wheat, groundnuts and cassava, researchers said on Wednesday. “Agricultural products contaminated with aflatoxin poses a major threat to human and animal health,” said Bendantunguka Tiisekwa, …

Cabbages trump coffee for Tanzania’s climate-stressed farmers

May 21st, 2015 / Reuters

The 72-year-old farmer from Moshi Rural district in Tanzania’s northern Kilimanjaro region depended for decades on coffee farming. But climate shifts, together with a rust disease that causes trees to shrink and become unproductive, have decimated his yields. So he’s turned to cabbages, onions, lettuce and potatoes – and he …

UG signs $2.9m agreement to improve agriculture research

May 21st, 2015 / Ghana Broadcasting Corporation

Agriculture experts at the University of Ghana say the country will encounter challenges with food security by 2050 if new food security crops are not developed. To prevent this danger, the College of Basic and Applied Sciences and the School of Agriculture sought a $2.9m assistance to facilitate research into …

Sorghum project gives women financial might

May 21st, 2015 / FarmBiz Africa

Quality seed, fertilizer and planting training from One Acre Fund transforms lives of farmers in western Kenya. “It felt like a dream,” says farmer Rosemary Wanjala. Read …

Kenya: New technology for collecting agric data

May 20th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow, Michael Ssale reports: Several researchers have concluded a 10-day training, held in Nairobi, Kenya, on Census and Survey Processing System (CSPro), a software developed to improve the efficiency of data collection and management in agriculture. Read …

Uganda: fora on modern agro-biotech research

May 20th, 2015 / ISAAA, Kenya

The Uganda Biosciences Information Center (UBIC) in partnership with Science Foundation for Livelihoods Development (SCIFODE) conducted a series of workshops on the application and regulation of modern agro-biotechnology for agricultural development. Read …

B4FA Week in Review – 20 May 2013

May 20th, 2015

It’s a fascinating and overflowing grab bag of biotech news this week. Research geneticist Ram Singh at the University of Illinois has successfully crossed soybean with a related wild, perennial plant from Australia, producing the first fertile soybean plants resistant to soybean rust, soybean cyst nematode and other pathogens. In …